## Is it legal to play the lottery over the Internet?

The state lotteries and MUSL (the organization that runs Powerball) are all very firm in their assertion that playing the lottery in any manner over the Internet is illegal. We are not lawyers and can’t provide legal advice, but we are not so sure about their position. Their absolute certainty that it is illegal may have more to do with not wanting to lose control of the player interaction, and less to do with a firm legal footing.

When we assess the legality, we look at what has actually happened in court cases. There have been people in the past who purchased a lottery ticket from an Internet Web site, subsequently won the jackpot, and the lottery attempted to block them from receiving the jackpot. In each case, the winners took the lottery to court and won. They received their jackpot as if they walked into a store and purchased a ticket.

You must keep in mind that any type of Internet-based lottery service is not risk-free. From a legal standpoint, the services are dealing in loopholes in the current law, and the US Congress has taken steps to make those loopholes tighter, particularly in trying to prevent banks and credit cards from allowing Internet payments for lottery services. But there is a much bigger threat when you use an Internet lottery service: getting ripped off.

By not making a purchase in a store, you may be doing something worse than throwing your money away: you may be helping to keep a scam operation running. Stay away from anything referring to a «syndicate». We are not aware of any site using that terminology that is not a scam. Also beware of sites that state «Insured by ___» at the bottom. It is like saying «We don’t really buy lottery tickets, but *trust us*, you’ll get paid if you win.» Have you ever heard of an insurance company paying out a $200 million Powerball jackpot? We haven’t.

We do allow some advertising on USA Mega for lottery services. We recommend that USA residents stay away from such services, and make your purchases in a store. The ads are directed at non-USA residents, who may not have the online lottery restrictions that exist in the USA.

## Jackpot! A lucky lotto player in California had all the winning numbers after Saturday’s Powerball drawing, lottery officials said.

The grand prize reached an estimated $447.8 million.

The winning ticket was sold at a store in Menifee, southeast of Los Angeles.

Matthew Alberre, the manager of family-owned Marietta Liquor, told KCAL/KCBS he couldn’t believe the news when he got a call from a lottery representative on Saturday night. But it’s still unclear who bought the ticket from his store.

The winning numbers were 20, 26, 32, 38, 58 and the Powerball was 3.

The massive jackpot came in at tenth in the list of the largest awarded US lottery prizes of all time — a list that includes Mega Millions and Powerball winnings, the U.S.’s two largest games. Saturday night’s total surpasses the $435 million a jackpot claimed by someone in Indiana in February. That winner used a corporation to shield his or her identity.

If it seems like huge Powerball jackpots have become more common, that’s because they have.

Saturday’s $447.8 million prize means that six of the 10 largest Powerball jackpots ever have happened since the start of 2016.

The reason: Powerball changed its formula in October 2015 to give players more numbers to choose from.

And more numbers mean longer odds of a winner. The odds of winning Powerball are now 1 in 292 million, or 0.0000003%. Before the switch, the Powerball odds were 1 in 175 million.

With fewer winners, the jackpot has the chance to grow bigger week after week.

The biggest jackpot ever took place in January 2016, soon after the odds changed. That payout reached a record $1.6 billion — the one and only time it has crossed the billion dollar mark. The Powerball prize also climbed above $400 million in May, July and November of last year, in addition to the $435 prize in February.

Meanwhile, the Mega Millions game, which costs half as much to play, has only had four jackpots in its history that topped $400 million. Only one of those big payouts, a $536 million jackpot, came last year. The odds against winning Mega Millions are 1 in 259 million.

Of course, the size of those jackpots are inflated. They assume the winner takes annuity payments spread out over 29 years.

But virtually every jackpot winner chooses to take a smaller, lump sum payment up front. The lump sum value of Saturday’s $447.8 million jackpot could be close to $300 million. And of course, no matter how the winners or winner decide to accept their earnings, they’ll have an enormous tax bill.

Powerball and Mega Millions are now available in 44 states. All of them say that the profits provide billions in funding to schools and other social programs. But many economists argue that it’s a regressive tax, since poor and working class individuals spend a much larger percentage of their money on lottery tickets than wealthier consumers. Americans spent $73 billion on lottery tickets in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s more than they spent on music, movies, books, video games and sports tickets, combined.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that this was the seventh largest jackpot in U.S. history. It is the tenth largest. *

CNNMoney (New York) First published June 11, 2017: 1:02 AM ET

## US Powerball Hot and Cold Numbers

Number of Draws:

3

10

100

1000

all

### Hot Numbers

- Regular Balls
- 36
13 Times

- 59
11 Times

- 35
11 Times

- 15
11 Times

- 68
11 Times

- 39
11 Times

- 12
11 Times

- 14
10 Times

- 53
10 Times

- 33
10 Times

- 27
10 Times

- 62
10 Times

- 2
10 Times

- 23
10 Times

- 42
9 Times

- 67
9 Times

- 61
9 Times

- 56
9 Times

- 63
9 Times

- 44
8 Times

- 57
8 Times

- 7
8 Times

- 60
8 Times

- 40
8 Times

- 3
8 Times

- 41
8 Times

- 55
8 Times

- 50
8 Times

- 54
8 Times

- 18
8 Times

- Powerball
- 18
9 Times

- 23
6 Times

- 24
6 Times

- 4
6 Times

- 14
5 Times

- 2
5 Times

- 19
5 Times

- 11
5 Times

- 3
5 Times

- Power Play
- 2
52 Times

- 3
30 Times

### Cold Numbers

- Regular Balls
- 52
3 Times

- 13
4 Times

- 45
4 Times

- 24
4 Times

- 30
4 Times

- 28
4 Times

- 11
4 Times

- 34
5 Times

- 22
5 Times

- 69
5 Times

- 19
5 Times

- 17
5 Times

- 49
5 Times

- 25
5 Times

- 38
5 Times

- 20
5 Times

- 6
5 Times

- 4
5 Times

- 66
5 Times

- 31
6 Times

- 16
6 Times

- 9
6 Times

- 5
6 Times

- 46
6 Times

- 64
6 Times

- 48
6 Times

- 37
6 Times

- 51
6 Times

- 26
7 Times

- 58
7 Times

- 10
7 Times

- 65
7 Times

- 1
7 Times

- 32
7 Times

- 8
7 Times

- 43
7 Times

- 21
7 Times

- 47
7 Times

- 29
7 Times

- Powerball
- 15
1 Times

- 7
2 Times

- 12
2 Times

- 10
2 Times

- 26
3 Times

- 6
3 Times

- 22
3 Times

- 13
3 Times

- 17
3 Times

- 16
3 Times

- 9
3 Times

- 5
4 Times

- 8
4 Times

- 20
4 Times

- 25
4 Times

- 21
4 Times

- Power Play
- 10
3 Times

- 5
5 Times

- 4
10 Times

## Can you explain the different prize tiers available?

When you bet on the outcome of the PowerBall you will be treated as though you entered the official draw and will receive the same main game prizes should you win.

The table below explains the different prize tiers, odds of winning each prize tier and the estimated individual returns for each prize tier.

The information below is provided as a guide only. Should you win you will be paid out in euros, so the prizes are provided in euros. Please bear in mind that the values shown are dependent on the dollar to euro to exchange rate.

Prize tier | Amount | Odds of winning |
---|---|---|

1 (5 main numbers+ Powerball) | Jackpot (Min €31m) | 292,201,338 |

2 (5 main numbers) | €834,000 | 11,688,053 |

3 (4 main numbers + Powerball) | €40,000 | 913,129 |

4 (4 main numbers) | €84 | 36,525 |

5 (3 main numbers+ Powerball) | €84 | 14,494 |

6 (3 main numbers) | €6 | 579 |

7 (2 main numbers + Powerball) | €6 | 701 |

8 (1 main number + Powerball) | €3.30 | 91 |

9 (Powerball) | €3.30 | 38 |

## Buying draw games can be as simple as these three little words…»Play It Again»!

You can now use existing tickets to purchase new tickets printed with your same favorite numbers! With the exciting new «Play It Again» feature, New Jersey Lottery retailers can simply scan your ticket to produce a new one for the same game, numbers, and wager amount.

- Available for Pick-3, Pick-4, Jersey Cash 5, Pick-6, CASH4LIFE, Mega Millions, Powerball, Quick Draw and CASH POP wagers.
- Replays the number of draws and boards, bet type, bet amount, Fireball (if orginally played), multiplier (if originally played), BULLSEYE (if originally played) and Instant Match wagers (issuing a new set of numbers).
- The feature will be available for the next draw, depending on when your ticket is purchased.
- Quick Pick wagers will be printed with the same numbers as the original wager.
- Tickets must be replayed within 30 days of purchase of the original ticket.
- Even previously validated and cancelled tickets can be replayed!

**Take your tickets and head to your favorite lottery retailer today to «Play It Again»! **

## Can I play Powerball in the UK

Yes. There are a number of online providers which allow you to play Powerball from the UK. Some use a concierge service where a person in the USA will go out and physically buy your ticket for you. That ticket will then be scanned and put into your account online so you can see that it has been bought. Others will take a «bet» from you against that lottery. No ticket is physically purchased but you will be paid out the same as if you had actually bought the ticket (the betting companies take out expensive insurance to cover the eventuality of somebody winning). Both types of company are heavily regulated to make sure they will pay out, so your entry money is safe.

### How to Play Powerball

Powerball draws are held every Wednesday and Saturday evening, with players required to select five main numbers between 1 and 69 and one Powerball from 1 to 26.

There is also the option to select Power Play for an additional fee. A Power Play number of either 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 is drawn before the main game and non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by that amount. The exception is the second-tier prize of US$1 million, which is capped at US$2 million no matter which multiplier is drawn. The 10x Power Play can only be selected when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less.

Players can win prizes just by matching the Powerball, while the jackpot is given away if anyone matches all five main numbers plus the Powerball. The top prize starts at $40 million and rolls over when it is not won.

U.S. players can buy tickets from retailers in authorised participating states or, in certain states, take part online. Powerball fans from outside the U.S. are able to win all the same prizes by choosing numbers online through sites such as Jackpot.com. Rather than buying tickets, it is a case of betting on the results, and you just have to select your game, pick your numbers and decide how many lines to enter.

### Prizes & Odds

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, but the chances of winning any prize are 1 in 24.87. Here are the odds of winning in each of the nine prize tiers, plus details of how the Power Play multipliers (x2, x3, x4, x5 and x10) can increase your payout.

Matched | Odds of Winning | Prize | x2 | x3 | x4 | x5 | x10* |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

5 main numbers + Powerball | 1 in 292,201,338 | Jackpot | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

5 main numbers | 1 in 11,688,054 | $1 million | $2 million | $2 million | $2 million | $2 million | $2 million |

4 main numbers + Powerball | 1 in 913,129 | $50,000 | $100,000 | $150,000 | $200,000 | $250,000 | $500,000 |

4 main numbers | 1 in 36,525 | $100 | $200 | $300 | $400 | $500 | $1,000 |

3 main numbers + Powerball | 1 in 14,494 | $100 | $200 | $300 | $400 | $500 | $1,000 |

3 main numbers | 1 in 580 | $7 | $14 | $21 | $28 | $35 | $70 |

2 main numbers + Powerball | 1 in 701 | $7 | $14 | $21 | $28 | $35 | $70 |

1 main number + Powerball | 1 in 92 | $4 | $8 | $12 | $16 | $20 | $40 |

Powerball only | 1 in 38 | $4 | $8 | $12 | $16 | $20 | $40 |

Approx. overall odds of winning a prize: 1 in 25 |

*The Power Play x 10 only applies when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less.

#### History & Biggest Jackpots

Powerball was first drawn in April 1992, having developed from an earlier game called Lotto*America. More states joined over the years and in 2010 Powerball and Mega Millions reached an agreement in which state lotteries could offer tickets for both games as opposed to one or the other.

Jackpots were originally only paid as an annuity spread over 20 years, but in 1997 that changed to 25 years and the option was added to take a reduced cash lump sum. The annuity currently stands at 30 payments over 29 years.

Powerball often creates huge jackpots, the biggest of which was $1.58 billion, shared by David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith (claiming under the Nickel 95 Trust) from Florida, Tennessee’s John and Lisa Robinson, and Marvin and Mae Acosta from California, on Wednesday 13th January 2016. Each of the winning tickets received $528.8 million, or a cash payment of $327.8 million.

Another record was set on 23rd August 2017, this time for the largest jackpot won on a single ticket, when Mavis Wanczyk from Massachusetts scooped $758.7 million. She came forward the very next day, having already quit her job as a hospital worker.

## How Does US Powerball Work?

### The Basics

In US Powerball, you pick:

- five numbers (i.e. the white balls) from a selection pool consisting of 1-69, and
- one number (i.e. the red ball) from a selection pool of 1-25

Take note that the red ball can be the same number as one of the white balls. You can pick numbers manually or via a Quick Pick option – which means you let a system randomly pick the numbers for you.

Winning numbers are drawn at 10:59pm every Wednesday and Saturday at Universal Studios in Florida.

Two drums, one containing the white balls, and the other containing the red balls, are used to randomly select the winning numbers. Matching all 6 numbers awards you the jackpot, while matching 5 gives you the 2nd place prize category, and so on.

Each ticket line costs $1, but some online lottery sites may charge higher to cover for the service of purchasing, scanning and safekeeping tickets.

### The Power Play

You can also include a Power Play number in your entry.

For an additional $1 on top of the $1 per line (again, prices may vary on lottery sites), the Power Play number multiplies prizes for non-jackpot winnings by up to 5 or 10 times. The second prize with the Power Play multiplier activated, for instance, is automatically doubled to $2,000,000.

Check out the table below to see how Power Play affects each prize category.

Matches | Prize | Prize with Powerball Multiplier | ||||

2x | 3x | 4x | 5x | 10x | ||

5 + 1 | Grand Prize | No Multiplier – Jackpot Only | ||||

5 + 0 | $1,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $2,000,000 |

4 + 1 | $50,000 | $100,000 | $150,000 | $200,000 | $250,000 | $500,000 |

4 | $100 | $200 | $300 | $400 | $500 | $1,000 |

3 + 1 | $100 | $200 | $300 | $400 | $500 | $1,000 |

3 | $7 | $14 | $21 | $28 | $35 | $70 |

2 + 1 | $7 | $14 | $21 | $28 | $35 | $70 |

1 + 1 | $4 | $8 | $12 | $16 | $20 | $40 |

0 + 1 | $4 | $8 | $12 | $16 | $20 | $40 |

### The Odds of Winning

Winning the Powerball isn’t easy, especially when it comes to the jackpot.

Check out the table below for a quick reference.

Numbers Matched | Odds of Winning |

5 +1 | 1 in 292,201,338.00 |

5 | 1 in 11,688,053.52 |

4 + 1 | 1 in 913,129.18 |

4 | 1 in 36,525.17 |

3 + 1 | 1 in 14,494.11 |

3 | 1 in 579.76 |

2 + 1 | 1 in 701.33 |

1 + 1 | 1 in 91.98 |

0 + 1 | 1 in 38.32 |

### What Happens if You Win?

Powerball jackpots are split between anyone who has a winning lottery ticket, while all other prizes are of a fixed amount. That said, non-jackpot prizes could be reduced if the number of winners exceed the lottery operator’s prize fund.

Winners have the option to choose whether to collect their payment as an annuity paid over a 29-year period, or as a lump sum.

Winners have a year to claim their prize. Otherwise, the money often goes to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, which funnels the money to charity. This won’t always be the case, though, as each MUSL member has different rules that dictate what happens to unclaimed prizes.

## Cash vs Annuity

Powerball jackpot winners have the option of receiving their winnings as a one-off cash lump sum, or as annuity payments.

The annuity option entitles you to the full advertised jackpot amount (minus taxes), in 30 payments over 29 years. The first payment will be made immediately and each subsequent payment increases by 5%.

The benefits of annuity payments are that you receive the full jackpot amount, as opposed to a reduced cash value (see below), and you have the security of receiving a steady income for the foreseeable future.

Many winners choose to receive the jackpot as a one-off cash lump sum. However, the value of a lump sum payout is always less than it would be for the annuity option. This is because the cash prize represents the actual funds in the jackpot pool at the time of the draw, while the annuity value is based on the lottery’s expected return from investing the cash sum over 29 years. The annuity sum is guaranteed to the player and they receive the full amount even if the lottery makes investments that do not achieve the expected return.

If an annuity winner dies before receiving all of their payments, the prize transfers to their estate or to a beneficiary designated by them. Different states have different rules on whether the estate receives annual payments or the balance of the award.

## What is Power Play?

Power Play is an optional multiplier, which can boost the seven bottom prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 10 times! The officials select the value of the multiplier depending on the draw and jackpot size; with 2 being more likely to appear than 10. Please note that the jackpot is never increased by Power Play. Only secondary prizes get multiplied. The 10x multiplier only comes into play when the jackpot is $150 million or less to encourage people to play when the jackpot levels drop.

Guessing the five main numbers and the Power Play would make you a millionaire even by doubling Powerball’s second prize up to $2,000,000. Don’t forget to Power Play and take your game further!

Match | Amount | Power Play x2 | Power Play x5 | Power Play x10 |
---|---|---|---|---|

+ | Jackpot | Jackpot | Jackpot | Jackpot |

$1,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $2,000,000 | |

+ | $50,000 | $100,000 | $250,000 | $500,000 |

$100 | $200 | $500 | $1,000 | |

+ | $100 | $200 | $500 | $1,000 |

$7 | $14 | $35 | $70 | |

+ | $7 | $14 | $35 | $70 |

+ | $4 | $8 | $20 | $40 |

$4 | $8 | $20 | $40 |